Thursday, May 3, 2007

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

An online paper "The use of complementary and alternative medicine by cancer patients" from th International Seminars in Surgical Oncology has just gone up here.

It starts with definitions - alternative is difficult as it can be defined both as "not mainstream" or as a substitute for proven medical practice.

As a whole medical practitioners accept, even welcome, complementary medicine when it alleviates the psychological stress of cancer and cancer treatment. There is an obvious concern that some common CAM products may adversely interact with commonly prescribed medicines so it would be wise to consult a medical professional before taking this or that.

We were advised by our consultant at the beginning of treatment "to be cautious of web sites claimimg alternative cures for cancer".

Indeed the horror stories presented at Respectful Insolence's post
Magical Thinking versus Lymphoma (and follow-up here) where parents withdrew their children from standard treatments and put them on unproven quackery are beyond belief! And in this context I would recommend Quackwatch if you really are so gullible.

Kezia's exposure to complementary approaches has been minimal - if you count the hospital clown and music sessions and play as complementary, although I think everyone would agree that Laughter is Medicine.

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